A sexually transmitted infection isn’t just inconvenient, it’s downright deleterious to your health and damaging to your sexual and reproductive functions. So when you notice any warning sign that could be indicative of a sexually transmitted disease, you should get yourself immediately treated.
The symptoms of an STD aren’t always limited to your genital area. There are also symptoms that manifest themselves on your skin, mouth, eyes, and other areas on your body. If you suspect that you may have gotten infected, here are a dozen signs you should watch out for.
1. Mucopurulent Discharge
When you have a mucopurulent discharge, it means that due to infection or inflammation, there’s fluid containing both pus and mucus coming out of your penis. This is a common symptom of gonorrhea.
Also referred to as the clap, an infection caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae affects your mucous membrane and can cause a mucopurulent discharge, especially if the infection has caused your urethra to become inflamed, a condition called urethritis.
2. Pus-Filled Lesions
Your doctor may use the term pyoderma to refer to pus-filled lesions. These lesions usually appear on the glans penis. This symptom may be caused by an infection with either gonorrhea or chlamydia. Your doctor will most likely examine you for both STDs since simultaneous infections with both bacteria are common.
3. Genital Ulcers
Genital ulcers start off as blisters, so you may mistake them for symptoms of something else. But when those blisters rupture and become ulcerated, then chances are high that you’re infected with either syphilis, herpes, or chancroid.
The ulcerated lesions may appear on your genital and anal area. However, there are also instances when the ulcers appear on other parts of the body like your lower back or your buttocks.
4. Throat Warts
If you’re infected with human papillomavirus or HPV, then you may experience warts growing in your throat. If you do notice anything that feels like a wart in your throat, make sure that you get it examined immediately. There are actually some strains of HPV that cause cancer, so it’s best to get yourself treated as soon as possible.
5. Condyloma Acuminata
Condyloma acuminata is the clinical term for genital warts. Such infections are usually caused by HPV. Other human papillomavirus strains may also cause genital warts but subtypes 6 and 11 are the most common causes of condyloma acuminata.
These warts may appear in your external genitalia or in the area surrounding your anus and perineum. Warts may vary in size, with some growing only up to a few millimeters while cauliflower-like tumors can grow up to several centimeters. The warts may be flesh, white, brown, or pink in color.
If you’re infected with syphilis, you may notice rubbery ulcers with raised edges growing in your genital area. These ulcers are called chancres and they usually start showing around 3 weeks after you get infected.
Chancres are associated with primary syphilis infections. If anyone comes into direct contact with these infected sores, they may become infected too.
7. Papulosquamous Eruption
Compared to chancres which are typically solitary, a secondary syphilis infection can cause an eruption of lesions all over your body. These lesions are usually around a centimeter in size, and you’ll find them all over your trunk, arms, legs, soles, and palms.
The lesions may be pink, reddish brown, or almost violet in color. These lesions occur as a result of the Treponema pallidum spirochetes spreading to your skin and tissues. This can happen within weeks or months after you got infected.
8. Condyloma Lata
While condyloma acuminata are associated with HPV, condyloma lata are closely tied to secondary syphilis infections. Aside from the lesions that you’ll find growing on your trunk and arms, you may also notice white lesions growing in moist areas of your body such as on your inner thighs, groin, armpits, or even on your bellybutton.
Dysuria is a medical term that simply means you’re feeling pain or discomfort when you’re urinating. The pain felt is often described as a burning sensation. This symptom is often associated with urinary tract bacterial infections. Dysuria is also a common symptom of gonorrhea and chlamydia.
10. Swollen Testicles
Swelling and inflammation of the testicles often occur as a result of a sexually transmitted infection spreading to the epididymis. The infection can lead to epididymitis, and it may even cause orchitis or testicular inflammation.
If you have gonorrhea or chlamydia, you’ll most likely experience swelling in your testicles if you don’t get it treated right away. The swelling may also be accompanied by pain. Although the pain is not quite debilitating, it can be very uncomfortable.
You may develop a fever if you’re infected with herpes, chlamydia, syphilis, hepatitis A or B, or gonorrhea. Fever accompanied by headaches and fatigue is also an early sign of an HIV infection. However, these symptoms usually disappear within a week, so it’s easy to mistake them for something else.
12. Itching Around The Genital Area
Several STDs can cause itching around your genital and anal area. Gonorrhea, for instance, can cause anal itching. Trichomoniasis can also cause irritation and itching inside your penis.
Herpes, on the one hand, can cause itching not only on your genitals but also on your buttocks. Your inner thighs may also feel itchy if you’re infected with herpes simplex. You’ll know it’s herpes because a few days after the itching started, you’ll see small red bumps appearing on the affected areas.
Keeping Yourself Sexually Healthy
Making sure you’re always protected whenever you have sex is one of the best ways that you can keep yourself safe from sexually transmitted infections. Another way to maintain your sexual health is by making sure that your body is sufficiently supplied with the nutrients and antioxidants you need for proper sexual functioning.
For instance, you can take supplements like Malegenix so that you can maintain high testosterone levels. Malegenix contains natural ingredients that are known as excellent testosterone boosters such as Tongkat Ali and Tribulus terrestris. In addition, Malegenix also contains herbs that improve your erectile function and enhance your libido.